Courtesy Crusto
Toni Garcia
December 08, 2014

Baking is a very serious business in Barcelona, and it's been that way for the past decade. The market for frozen bread—sold as fresh—thankfully collapsed in the early 2000s (although be careful, some of those “bakeries” still exist, especially in the heavily touristed areas of the city). Since then, however, the city’s young people have started a new baking “revolution” here, dusting off traditional recipes and old-school techniques, but using high-quality, all-natural ingredients. Many of these bakeries operate in up-and-coming neighborhoods like El Born and Gracia, where the younger generation has embraced them.

A word of advice: You’ll find that he best bakeries in town (and on this list) charge more expensive prices for their breads, cakes, pastries and other baked goods. But the aromas and flavors these places offer set them far apart from Barcelona’s more run-of-the-mill bakeries. Try one of the bakeries below and you’ll see: they’re worth every penny.

Barcelona-Reykjavik

The original pioneers, in terms of organic bakeries in Barcelona, have become so successful in recent years that they’re now a mini-franchise, with four different locations around the city. Their croissants, brioches, and dozen varieties of bread are some of the best baking you can find in Barcelona, easily justifying the price.

Crustó

Another place with a great reputation in Barcelona, Crustó has the best bread for sandwiches (this is not a joke) in town. My recommendation is to buy some iberico ham, a couple of tomatoes, and some olive oil, then purchase a couple of baguettes here and make yourself an incredible sandwich. If that sounds like too much trouble, you can buy already-prepared sandwiches at Crustó, freshly made. The pastries here are also fantastic.

Forn Baluard

The smell of this bakery is something really special. They treat bread as our grandparents used to: as a precious gift that’s almost too special to eat every day. Everything here seems as if it were from the past: The breads are rustic, studded with dried fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains. After a visit here you’re sure to come back again.

Ideal

This bakery offers excellent bread and fine pastries—but its cakes are truly incredible. In Barcelona, Sunday is the day when locals buy a special dessert and share it at home with your families, so Ideal is always very crowded that day. My advice: Go there on Saturday, buy a chocolate cake (the best, by far, if you like chocolate), ask for two spoons, then hide in your hotel room with a partner and one of the best desserts in the city. 

Forn Baltà

This bakery finds its purpose in turning out perfect loaves of bread made from very old Catalan recipes. (That said, the bakers here are also always experimenting, trying new ingredients, different flours and different baking techniques.) If you're looking for a traditional Catalan bakery with an old-school flavor, this is the place to go.

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